How BlogHer is Like the Prom

It’s Wednesday again…you know what that means…new meat a new Recruit to the Nation!  Don’t know what a Sluiter Nation Recruit is?  Find out here.

This week’s Recruit and I go WAY back.  Emily of DesignHer Momma and I actually knew each other in real life a LONG time before we discovered that we each have blogs.  We have a shared history of growing up with the smell of manure hanging in the air and tulips being celebrated with their own yearly festival.

Reading Emily’s tweets (and this lady’s tweets) last year are what made me yearn to go to BlogHer…or really any blogging conference.  Blissdom was my first choice, but because it was during the school year and during the week, I couldn’t get the time off, so I made the leap of faith that I could save up to go to Blogher.

And now I am nervous.  But Emily is here to calm me (and the rest of you nervous nellys) down.


Oh hello there Sluiter Nation friends! My name is Emily, and while Katie and I often hang out on the internet together, we actually went to the same high school, and did some hanging out back in the day as well. I know, yep, we knew each other in the awkward years, or maybe they were the skinny years, depending on how you like to look at things.

I’ve heard a lot of talk here on Sluiter Nation about Katie going to her very first BlogHER conference in just a few weeks, and all the nervous gas that goes along with that. What? Katie doesn’t get the nervous poops like I do? Whateves.

Since going to a blog conference is an easy comparison to going to high school prom (I’m so freaked out! What am I going to wear! Who am I going to sit with? I hope my date roommates think I’m awesome (and that I don’t have nervous toots in bed), I thought I would take this time to post some coping mechanisms I’ve used in my blog conference experience:

  • Do not try to sustain life off vodka and cupcakes alone for four days straight. At first, it might appear to be a good idea, but I promise it will catch up with you. There will be so many events, all serving cake and fruity vodka infused drinks, and not much else. It will all be FREE! Don’t be cheap and skip dinner to save a few bucks. You will end up taking crazy pictures late at night and they will end up on the internet. What happens at BlogHER does not stay at BlogHER. Lady bloggers have high aperture lenses for retinas. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

54814_mvsstudio(that’s me in the middle, 2 cupcakes and 4 gin and tonics for dinner)

  • While having the right outfit for every occasion is pretty high on the priority list and can be a major source of pre-conference anxiety, let me tell you what your most important outfit is: a pair of stretchy pants and hoodie sweatshirt. Oh, and a pair of very comfortable flip flops or slippers. The conference parties will wind down, you’ll realized all you ate the whole day was 3 chocolate cupcakes and oh, some vodka, and it will be time to rectify before things head south. More than likely, every night you will end up with strangers new bff’s hanging out in your hotel room eating take out hot wings. Please, please, please, do not forget to pack your cute black yoga pants (that I know you wear everyday at home, your probably wearing them right this very second as you read this) and your favorite alma mater sweatshirt. Cute dresses and funky necklaces are fun, but not when you’re eating nachos in bed.
  • Don’t discount a blogger you’ve been dying to meet just because they seemed “off putting” when you first meet them. Give the lady a second chance, more than likely she’s a super introvert that is painfully out of her comfort zone hanging out in the big scary ballroom. Because honestly, we’re all kinda nerdy and geeky, we spend our time talking to people on the internet about HTML code and whatever the heck SEO is. Not all bloggers have mastered the art of social skills; set first impression expectations low and you will have a great time.
  • Don’t freak out for a single second if you didn’t get invited to that important private party being hosted off site. Know what missing the invite means? It means that you weren’t on twitter, or facebook, or your email at the right time. These parties are by no way an indication on “how cool” you are. They only have a limited amount of tickets and they literally sell out in 5 minutes, to the lucky few who were online at the time and saw the very important tweet. By not having a golden ticket to that golden party, it’s like saying: Hey, I have a life and was doing something totally fun IRL instead of being on the computer 24/7. And anyway, you’re in San Diego, without your kids! Grab a friend, get some sushi (or whatever people in California eat) and go explore! Have the best time of your life…
  • And lastly, don’t be a swaghole, stuffslut, or samplestitute. You didn’t come all this way, leave the comforts of your couch, to spend all your time getting as many cans of free tuna and sample size deodorants that you can haul back in your luggage. Sure, you will freak your freak out when you see all the stuff the vendors want you to take home and sample, and by all means take the stuff you will actually use, but don’t spend all your time hoping from place to place just to grab loads of useless junk. (yes, I said it). Instead, spend time getting to know other women, or actually learning stuff in the sessions, or hellz, just go take a nap. You will need all those thing far worse than 18 free thumb drives.

See? Isn’t BlogHER just like prom? Sorry, I tried.

Recap: Stretchy pants and hot wings FTW, copious amounts of free vodka and tuna will get you in trouble, be nice to everyone, private parties are lame. Oh, and allow yourself to laugh, don’t take everything so seriously.

Friends, go forth and party with your fierce self. YOU are awesome, and YOU are worthy.


Oh how I love Emily.  I wish she was going to BlogHer this year…I miss her.

Anyway, you should be following her on twitter and reading her blog.  Here are some of my favorite posts….

She is one of the most amazing friends that God put on this earth.  She loves and supports her friends fiercely:  For the Love of Girl Named Maddie and Mozzie (due) in May!  The Celebration Starts Today!

The post that sent me to the doctor which eventually saved my marriage…and my life:  I’m not Wrong…I’m just not Right.

And she brings the funny:  SPAM.  Rest in peace, ugly girl.

Ah there are so many more.  I think what I love best about reading Emily’s posts are her made up words like “photo bomb”, “aqua dump”, and as you saw in this post “swaghole”.  She is just funny and real.

And I pretty much love her.

Thank you Emily, for coming to my space.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Hahahaha! So funny! I love this: don’t be a swaghole,stuffslut,or samplestitute!

    Awesome! Katie, hope you’re no longer freaking out about BlogHer!

  2. This will be my first trip to BlogHer, too. Thank you, Emily, for the wise words directing us away from samplestituting.

    I really appreciate so much what you said about not getting private party invites. I haven’t been all that too concerned about it because the official BlogHer parties look amazing, but bearing in mind that I might miss some things because I am NOT online every minute of the day is such a great perspective to have.

    Katie – I believe we are going to the same Pathfinder, right? Can’t wait to meet you there!

  3. Love this! This will be my first BlogHer and my first trip from FL to CA on a plane without the family in over 9 yrs! lol

    I am so looking forward to this. Your post cracks me up. Very down to earth, the best blogher advice post I’ve read yet.


  4. You had me at yoga pants & hoodie! 🙂 Seriously, conferences cost a lot in terms of money & time, if people go to blogher11 just to grab swag,all they are succeeding in doing is demonstrating that they don’t understand ROI.Stuff? if you just want goodies you’re better off staying home & spending the $ you’d have spent gong to BlogHer, lol a couple grand buys a lot of flash drives & laundry soap samples.

    The best swag? the ROI I want for my conference investment is laughter,hugs, info to help make my site a better place… oh and great food, what good is traveling
    to strange places if all you get to eat is luke warm apps at cocktail parties:)

    Thanks for reminding us all of what’s important, may we all experience the true meaning behind BlogHer!

  5. This is hilarious! Best conference advice ever.

  6. Awesome post & I love that photo! LOL at the cupcakes & vodka ~ I will {try to} remember to stop at 3 & eat more!

  7. OK, did NOT expect to find my new bloggy crush this morning.

    This girl is the real deal, how could you not fall hard for her?

    I love this post.

    So much.

    I wish she was going to BlogHer, too.

    On my way to stalk/talk this babe into liking me.

  8. I think I love her. Empress and I are gonna have to have a throwdown for her affections.

  9. WOW!! As a brand new person to blogging, this sure puts the BlogHer11 into prospective!! I won’t be attending this year, but I’ve made it a goal to attend next year. I will definitely remember these wise words of wisdom!!

    Have a great time Katie!

  10. Emily! If I were not too poor to go to BlogHer, I would probably not have gone anyway because these are my fears. You have just given me the guts to go for it. Someday. When we have money. Or they decide to have it in Kansas City – HA!

  11. I love the “subsisting on cupcakes and vodka”.

    Gosh, I missed out on some fun in college!

    You have a good spirit about BlogHer! It seems like it can be easy to get caught up in drama with guest list and party invites.

  12. Am I the only one who thinks that picture makes Emily look like she could be Katie’s sister?

  13. Now I want to go to BlogHer even more. *sad face* this was soooo good. Have a great time Katie…and thanks for introducing me to a new friend!!

  14. Ok..I am starting to get the picture. It sounds like a mix between Prom and the teacher conferences I have attended. And I have gone with the teacher who scams every sort of trinket they can, and spends all her time stalking the vendors. not do that! I can not wait to hear Katie’s responses to her experience there.
    Katie, well done with another recruit to love. You sure do know how to pick them! Have a great time!

  15. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – my biggest fear if and when I go to a blog conference will be farting in the bed I’ll most likely be sharing with a complete stranger. There’s just no getting over that awkwardness.

    And also the fashion. The fashion skeers me just a little bit.

    Luckily, I don’t have to worry about the farting or the fashion for at least another year since I’m not going to BlogHer this year.

  16. Good luck at BlogHer! I’ve wanted to go for a while but it’s not in the cards this year. Look forward to reading all about it though!

  17. Oh, I follow Emily on twitter but have never been to her blog! Now I realize what a friggin’ tragedy that is for me! I went and read a few of her posts. She is HILARIOUS. Right up my alley.

    Thanks so much, Katie. You are spreading some really good bloggers around 😉

    p.s. congrats, Emily, on baby #4!!!

  18. This post actually makes me want to go to BlogHer. Next year, fersher.

  19. Pretty sure I’ve never seen these words strung together before… “copious amounts of free vodka and tuna will get you in trouble…” This is pure awesome. Can’t wait to meet Katie at Blogher and wishing YOU were going to be there too Emily!!

  20. This will be my first blogher and I am loving all the posts leading up this conference! They are putting me more and more at ease, just be myself and have a good time.

  21. This post? IS FABULOUS.

    And now? I feel all calm. And cozy. And wings-in-bed-while-wearing-yoga-pants-ish.

    Wait, what?

    Great post ladies! Thank you! 🙂

  22. ugh! I don’t want to have to worry about what I’m going to wear!! I’m a sahm with a very small disposable income for clothes. Do I really NEED cute dresses and funky necklaces? And new shoes?

  23. New here but hot to comment! Love this! This will be my first trip to BlogHer but I already have my yoga pants and hoddie set aside!

  24. If you want to, you CAN spend the whole conference in yoga pants and my undergrad hoodie. Just saying… 🙂

    Loved the entry! We met last year – I recognize you from the pics. You’re hilarious!

  25. Love. Thanks for the 411. I’ll be a first timer = clueless, nervous, anxious, and EXCITED. I’m sure that once I get there I’ll be overwhelmed. Now at least I’ll know what NOT to do.

  26. I enjoyed reading this post, it was entertaining yet very insightful! Hope you have a great time at BlogHer!


  27. I am not going to BlogHER (sob) so that weekend, I will just load up on hot wings and vodka (in my yoga pants of course) and read Emily’s archives…

    oh yeah.


  1. […] gave Katie over at Sluiter Nation tips on navigating her first BlogHER conference, it’s kinda like going to Prom. It’s a must read post, only because I use words like […]

  2. […] yes, another BlogHER post. get over it.    How BlogHer is Like the Prom […]

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